Now for something completely different.
Never before have I felt the need to post about an album I have come across.
I would say that I’m one of the least knowledgeable people I know when it comes to music.
I think it is partly because I have a truly awful memory for names, both of people I have met for business or pleasure, actors, dead or alive, authors, alive or dead, and for titles of songs, artists or albums.
This means I am particularly useless at pub quizzes and cannot bring anything to a conversation about music.
I know what I like; just please don’t quiz me on it.
Last week I purchased Sting’s latest album, ‘The Last Ship’. Now I like Sting; please don’t ask me to name any of his songs or repeat any lyrics. I have never owned an album of his. I just know that when watching those music documentaries on Sky that you watch when there is nothing else on, his music, (or that of The Police, I can tell you are impressed by my knowledge here) always takes me back to growing up in the 70’s and 80’s.
This album is the music he has written for a musical soon to be on Broadway in the States.
Due to the music having been written for a musical, every song tells a story. Movingly beautiful but troubled stories based around ship building in the 1960’s in the North East of England. I’m not really selling this to you, am I?
This is not ‘background music’. This is not music to be talked over or even shared. This is music to listen to in the car or on the train, on your own. At a time when you can listen to all the words. I was quite taken back with the emotion generated by some of these.
These are songs about welders who get trapped within the construction of a great ship, a priest, a marriage without love, a fighter who learns who to dance to win a women’s love. These are quite dark folksy ballards, but sometimes with a bit of sea shanty about them.
For a further opinion I asked my partner to have a listen. He listened to about 10 minutes and decreed it ‘depressing drivel’.
Well I’m not marrying him for our mutual taste in music.
So if you get the chance, buy or borrow. Have a listen. Tell me if you agree.
Love, Lucie xx
As a ‘northern lass’ I can relate to Sting and the plight of the ship builders and indeed the miners. My ancestors were miners, whilst Mr Gertie’s were ship builders.
Out of my childhood bedroom window I could see at least three pits, while Mr Gertie can remember the constant noise of the rivets being welded in the ships and how quiet it went when they took their lunch!!!
I’m proud to be a northern lass (my proper title is a Woolyback as I was born not far from Durham. Mr Gertie is a Sand dancer…) and proud of my heritage xx
Have you heard the album?
The only thing I say about Sting is that I’ve heard of him.
We are another northern family so can identify too. Glad he’s getting back to his roots. The Police were brilliant but it went downhill from there. He just gets a bit too…. erm… spiritual? Is that what I mean? I’m being polite here lol! But I might go and have a hopeful listen having read your review, see what I think.
Let me know!
I like Sting too and saw an interview about this album, I will definitely make the effort to get it after reading your review. I love musicals, listening to a story told through song is so wonderful, I will let you know how it goes.